In order to resolve most issues in the Bureau of Prisons, from time not credited toward an inmates sentence to lack of cleaning supplies for the living units, an inmate is required to pursue the Administrative Remedy Process (ARP). This is a very cumbersome and costly endeavor that is normally used to discourage an inmate from reporting issues.
The ARP goes as follows.
BP 8 1/2
The BP 8 1/2 is the first step in the Bureau of Prisons ARP. An inmate is required to take his complaint to his counselor who then gives him a form to fill out and return. When the form is returned, the counselor investigates the matter. An inmate has twenty days from the time the issue occurred to report it. This is considered an “informal resolution.” Inmates have three to four lines to fill out stating what their complaint is, and are allowed one continuous page. Exhibits are unlimited. All materials used in preparing this form, the continuous page and exhibits (including copies) are at the inmate’s expense regardless of if the inmate is indigent or not.
The BP 9 is a formal complaint to the Warden of the facility. Once a BP 8 1/2 is denied, the inmate is given a BP 9 and allowed to send the complaint to the Warden. Inmates have twenty days from the date of denial to file the BP 9. Inmates are allowed one continuous page and unlimited exhibits. If the exhibits contain an affidavit, or anything written in narrative form, it is considered a second continuous page and the BP 9 is rejected. The Warden has twenty days to respond to the BP 9 but can inform the inmate if they intend to take longer to answer the BP 9. By policy they are allowed a twenty day extension.
The inmate has twenty days from the time the Warden denies the BP 9 response to appeal (if an inmate receives the BP 9 response on the 30th, but the Warden signed it on the 9th, the inmate normally is considered defaulted in his time frame for appealing and must make an appeal to the Warden to correct the issues, normally following the same procedure as cited above) the deadline includes mailing time.
The BP 10 is a formal appeal of the BP 9 to the Regional Director’s office. The inmate has the same rules as for the BP 9. The regional director has thirty days to respond but can inform the inmate if they wish to take a longer period of time. They are allowed by policy to receive a thirty day extension. Regional then mails the response to the inmate. The inmate has thirty days form the date that the Regional Director signed the response to appeal. If the regional Director signed the response on the 9th and it takes thirty days for the Regional Directors secretary to process the paperwork, the mail room to get it and mail it, and the inmate to finally receive it, the inmate will have defaulted upon his appeal window.
The BP 11 is a formal appeal to Central Office in Washington, D.C. The inmate has the same rules as the BP 9 and 10. Central Office has forty days to respond to the appeal but can inform the inmate if they wish to take more time. They are allowed by policy to receive a twenty day extension.
A few things to note.
1. The inmate must pay for all stamps, envelopes, pens, paper, copies, typewriter ribbon, correction ribbon, certification, etc. for their filings.
2. Exhibits do not get returned to the inmate. If an inmate appeals an issue they must make new exhibits for each appeal.
3. If an appeal is ignored after flied an inmate is expected to consider the appeal denied and appeal. There are set guidelines to follow for this. For a BP 9, it’s twenty days; BP 10, thirty days; BP 11 sixty days.
4. Normally if an inmate appeals a denial and anything is missing, it is rejected and the inmate has five days from the time of the rejection to file a corrected appeal. This includes mailing time.
5. If an inmate appeals an incident report (prison infraction), they are still punished for the incident they were charged with while they appeal (i.e. loss of privileges such as commissary, phone, email, and/or visitation). In most instances, the punishment is over long before the appeal is heard.
6. In each facility (Warden’s Office, Regional Director’s Office, Central Office), an Administrative Remedies Director receives the appeal, reviews it, and then forwards it on to the head of the department the complaint is about. The department head then responds to it, and that response is normally crafted to be the Warden’s response. Rarely does a Warden actually review the appeal responses on which his/her name goes. Normally, if a staff member is the focus of the complaint, they are the one to answer the complaint and all subsequent appeals.
An example of how costly the process is for an inmate follows:
An inmate is 15 months to release and his case manager has not et put him in for halfway house (this is supposed to happen at 18 months prior to good time release). the inmate files a BP 8 1/2 and includes records of all the post-sentencing rehabilitation he has worked hard for through copies of the certificates from all the courses/classes he has taken. There are 40 certificates. At a cost of $0.20 apiece for copies, the inmate spends $8.0 to provide a copy of his certificates. Three weeks later he receives a denial of his BP 8 1/2 stating that the case manager will get around to his request eventually. He then appeals to the Warden, spending another $8/00 to make copies because such exhibits don’t get returned with the denials. The Warden receives an extension and denies the BP 9 on the 40th day. The inmate appeals to the Regional Director through a BP 10, spending money on copies yet again for the certificates and now also for the BP 8 1/2, the BP 9, and the denials as well as all of these are required to be attached to the BP 10. With all of these pages, it also cost about $20.00 to mail. After 60 days, the inmate receives a denial from the Regional Director and has to pay for copies and postage all over again for Central Office. He received the BP 10 denial late (not uncommon) and now has to pay an extra $3 to certify the mail to prove when he mailed the BP 11 to Central Office. With the extra copies required from the BP 10, the BP 11 cost him a total of $33.00.
He never receives a response from the BP 11. After 60 days he takes the matter to court, which cost him a $5 filing fee along with new copies of everything and postage again (about $40 in total).
Altogether, he spent $115.00, and this doesn’t include the cost of a typewriter wheel ($19.95), typewriter ribbon ($8.75), and correction ribbon ($1/25).
This article was produced to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is offered with the understanding that Dishonorable Courts is not engaged in rendering legal, or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Images in this article may be subject to copyright. The usage of any image in this article is pursuant to Section 107 of the Copyright Act.